The bicipital muscle is a major player in flexing the arm and shoulder.  The long head of the bicep muscle has a tendon which acts as a lever in flexing the arm.  This tendon is wrapped in a sheath to allow full movement of the arm and stop any friction with structures it must cross over.

In bicipital tendinitis, the tendon is inflamed.  In tenosynovitis, the sheath surrounding the tendon becomes inflamed.

Causes of Bicipital Tenosynovitis or Tendinitis:

  • Pain comes from over use – you’re probably involved in an activity that requires repetitive motion of the shoulder – playing a racket sport, lifting weights, throwing a baseball.
  • Common in non-athletes – painters, construction workers, gardeners.
  • Poor posture and rotary cuff imbalances – causing muscle imbalances resulting in the biceps tendon being stressed – such as holding a tool or using a mouse.
  • Tendon Impingement
  • Can be companioned by: rotator cuff issues, rotator cuff tears, labral tears, SLAP lesions.


  • Deep throbbing ache on the front of the shoulder. Usually the client will point right to the tendon where the pain is located.
  • Pain can vary intensity depending on the severity of condition: – burning, dull achy sensation, radiating into the shoulder
  • Pain with lifting the arm overhead.
  • Pain worsens at night when sleeping on the effected shoulder.
  • Potential popping if the tendon tears

I approach treating your shoulder pain to your presentation, which involves:

  • Analyzing your posture – is a slumped shoulder placing too much stress on the tendon?
  • Discussing potential lifestyle dynamics impacting the effected shoulder.
  • Understanding how other factors such as age can aggravate the problem.
  • Muscle testing the muscles comprising the shoulder for weakness and pain.
  • Targeting effected muscles, releasing motor points, trigger points and relaxing the fascia around the bicipital tendon.
  • Providing exercises to continue treatment success between acupuncture treatments

Call (914) 572-5137 today or click here to schedule an appointment & learn more about how we can help you.